Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

My Photo
Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cloud Cuckoo Land

The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children.

"U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan unveiled the first working prototype of the $100 laptop Nov. 16 at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia. Annan was joined by Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and co-founder of the Media Lab at MIT, in presenting the laptop to the gathering.

The $100 laptop, first announced by Negroponte at the World Economic Forum in January 2005, is an ultra-low-cost, full-featured computer designed to dramatically enhance children's primary and secondary education worldwide. It is a joint project of the Media Lab and the nonprofit One Laptop per Child (OLPC) association, which aims to equip the world's schoolchildren and their teachers with a personal, portable, connected computer.

"The $100 laptop is inspiring in many respects," said Annan. "It is an impressive technical achievement, able to do almost everything that larger, more expensive computers can do. It holds the promise of major advances in economic and social development. But perhaps most important is the true meaning of 'one laptop per child.' This is not just a matter of giving a laptop to each child, as if bestowing on them some magical charm. The magic lies within -- within each child, within each scientist-, scholar-, or just plain citizen-in-the-making. This initiative is meant to bring it forth into the light of day."

This is nebulous nonsense. Too many people view technology as a magical charm. It isn't. Schools in the developed world have had computers in the classrooms for decades now and it hasn't improved academic performance.

This reminds me of techno libertarians like Jerry Pournelle who predicted over ten years ago that computers, online commmunication and fax machines would topple tyrannies.

Mainland China, anyone? A computer is no match for a tank or a bullet in Tianamen Square.

Bush Is Finished

"U.S. and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq," said Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who has been in Congress for 31 years. "It's time for a change in direction."

"Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty," he said. "Our military captured Saddam Hussein, captured or killed his closest associates, but the war continues to intensify."

Murtha took issue with the administration's counter-criticism.

"I like guys who've never been there who criticize us who've been there," Murtha said. "I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done."

"I resent the fact that on Veterans Day, they criticized Democrats for criticizing them," Murtha said, referring to a speech Bush gave in Pennsylvania.”

"This [the war] is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public knows it, and lashing out at critics doesn't help a bit," Murtha said. "You've got to change the policy. That's what's going to help the American people."

Today, Bush again tried to discredit his critics and in order to counter claims that he mislead the Congress and the nation, had to say he didn't mislead them. This is equivalent to Nixon saying "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got." (Orlando, Florida, November 17, 1973)

We passed a crucial threshold today. A year ago, people who insisted that Bush and his administration fraudulently led the country into war were marginalized as leftist cranks. Now the issue is the subject of daily coverage by the major media.

Bush has no plan for Iraq except more of the same. The American public aren't buying it anymore.

Lame Duck

How Agents Define Love

Miss Snark writes, "Agents are a moneygrubbing lot. We only really love what we think we can sell."

Say no more, say no more.

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]